It’s true that some things are, indeed, better together. Conscious outdoor brand Nau is proving this point by introducing The Nau Collective, featuring a curated selection of brands that share the company’s ethos and aesthetics.
Nau (pronounced “now”) was forced to shut down their operations at the beginning of the recession, but was able to restart and restructure the business after finding investors. Now, the company, which is based in Portland, Oregon, is thriving. The small design team designs products for themselves, first. Because if they wouldn’t want to wear it, why would you? That same philosophy is applied to business decisions as well, if they can’t personally stand behind something they see no reason why anyone else would.
In their own words: “We spend a lot of time together, always talking, testing things out, sketching, pinning things up, asking, heckling, critiquing, revising. It usually gets too loud. We like to go outside. A lot of us ride bikes. We also ski, snowboard, climb, surf, run, make music, see music, take pictures, grow food, eat food, stay out late, have families, and have dogs who clack around and sleep at our feet. Collectively, we go through a lot of prosecco, dark chocolate, and beer. And we keep coming back to our Portland office, early in the mornings, until pretty late at night, because we’re stuck on an idea: to redesign fashion and to redefine business so that each become a powerful force for change. One small step towards unfucking the world.”
Collaboration is another basic principle the company adheres to, and feel that the more we work together, the more we can effect change. In forming The Nau Collective, the brand has partnered a few like-minded companies who share that vision. The curated collection of high-performance essentials is intended to help us all live a low-impact life through beautiful, refined design.
Let’s take a look at the brands.
Nudie Jeans Co.
Six years ago, Nudie Jeans Co. set a goal: by 2012 their entire line of premium denim would be made using only 100% organic cotton. It was very ambitious at the time, and entire supply chains have to be reevaluated, new fabrics developed, and old business practices reexamined, but the brand quietly working toward this goal and succeeded. This season, the Swedish brand introduced their first collection of high-end denim crafted entirely from fine organic cotton. They did this without compromising on the clean design, minimalist construction, and cool, classic European style that Nudie Jeans fans love.
Timberland Boot Co.
American heritage brand Timberland is based in New England and has been perfecting the art of bootmaking for nearly 60 years. The company has also been making strides in sustainability over the past ten years, and this season introduced the Eastern Standard Collection, which uses locally sourced materials, hand built by Maine artisans to create high-quality, vintage-style boots. Starting next spring, The Nau Collective will also feature Timberland’s Earthkeepers Collection, which uses hand-dyed, LWG-rated leathers, water-based adhesives, and recycled rubber outsoles to build footwear the way it used to be made-by hand.
For nearly 150 years, Pendleton has been crafting high-quality, locally sourced, 100% virgin wool products. This has made the family-owned company based in Eastern Oregon almost synonymous with wool production in America. With heritage-influenced designs that have one foot in the Old West and one in hipster street style, Pendleton has successfully created a legacy of high quality craftsmanship. This season, The Nau Collective features their Cradle-to-Cradle certified Eco Wise blankets, which are handmade in the same woolen mills as the classic Pendletons have been for over a century.
Eight years ago Klean Kanteen set out on a mission to build a reusable water bottle that would change the way people consume water, and cut down on plastic waste from single-use bottles and cups. The father-and-son duo created what was to be the first stainless steel water bottle, which very much gained mass appeal, perhaps much due to the simple design. Klean Kanteen’s combination of BPA-free, toxin-free, food-grade materials eliminate the need for paints, plastics or rubber seals, making it the most environmentally safe, non-toxic water bottle on the market. For The Nau Collective, Klean Kanteen created a water bottle and set of pint cups, all beautiful in their simplicity.
Japanese company Snow Peak makes beautiful, handcrafted, luxe products for the home and the outdoors. For over 50 years, these Japanese artisans have hand-crafted premium stoves, kitchenware and high-quality cutlery which reflect centuries of Japanese innovation and traditional craftsmanship. They use only high-quality, low-impact materials like stainless steel, lightweight titanium, and sustainable hardwoods to design timeless, durable goods with heritage appeal. The Nau Collective features you a rare collection of Japanese travel essentials and knives, made by local craftsmen using traditional knife-forging methods. Perfect for glamping.
Says Nau: “For us, sustainable fashion means timeless colors, smart design, eco-friendly materials and simple care. For you, it means style you’ll want to wear more than just one season.” The Nau Collective‘s curated offerings certainly support that ethos.